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Monday, May 17, 2010

Ebook Review and Giveaway - Lisa J. Lickel's Meander Scar

I'm honored to do a review and giveaway for Lisa Lickel's book, Meander Scar. I heartily agree with Michelle Sutton's endorsement: this book should make your list of the best of 2010 fiction.

Here's a blurb from Lisa's website:

Love can heal even the deepest scars...
After seven years with no clue as to the whereabouts of Ann Ballard’s missing husband, nearly everyone presumes him dead. Now forty-something, Ann is ready for her stagnant life to flow again. Then one day, a dark-haired younger man from her past shows up on her doorstep offering a river of hope in place of tears.
Former neighbor Mark Roth has secretly loved Ann for years. A respected attorney, he’s returned home to help Ann face down disapproving family members and the legal maneuvering of her likely deceased husband’s family— while quietly winning her heart.
When the hidden truth of Ann’s situation turns their lives on end and another tragedy strikes, the two must come to terms with family, faith and the depths to which true love can run.
Lisa asked me to do this review as a way of seeing what a therapist's take would be on the issues she has her characters going through. As a result, I now have a book I'll direct clients to who find themselves in similar situations.

First of all, the name of this book is a therapeutic metaphor. A meander scar (mē-án-dәr skär) is healed earth alongside a waterway. Rivers want to flow straight, but often run into a barrier like a large rock that causes it to veer off course. The water adapts to the landscape, but eventually is abandons the circular path to run straight again. The abandoned meander is first a small lake, then a swamp, then a scar.

Lisa prefaces her book with a definition similar to the one above, and it sets the tone for her novel. You can already conjure up ideas of extreme hurt and pain etching the canvas of the lives of Lisa's characters. But who alive doesn't fit that description? We don't go through life in a bubble! So I thought the scenes portraying that pain and suffering were so well done and realistic that anyone can relate to them.

The main reason I liked this book was because Lisa picked a 40-something heroine to match up with a hero 11 years younger. Whoa! Not often done in fiction, right? I love this quote from the hero's point of view: "He needed someone to understand that relationships sometimes can’t be built inside neat little containers. Sometimes they leak or don’t fit, or grow outside of their limits."

Both the hero and heroine end up facing scorn from family members, coworkers, and clergy for their romantic choices. *sigh* Unfortunately, that's so feasible that it's sad. Love doesn't have a formula, and the characters embraced that. However, the cards were stacked against them as soon as they did so. The heartbreak is tempered with some humorous scenes, like when Ann Googles "older women and younger men" and comes up with some unsavory descriptive terms (like "cougar")--ha! How many of us do stuff like that?

I could go on further, but take it from me....this is a book you don't want to miss out on. You can go to Lisa's website to read the first chapter of Meander Scar. You'll be drawn right in and hooked!

Rules for entering to win a free .pdf ebook of Meander Scar:

1) Leave a comment with your name and email address (don't assume I have it) and if you are already a follower, let me know (+2)
2) Become a follower (by clicking on the "Follow" button on the left-hand side--I want to see your smiling picture in the box!) (+3)
3) Refer a new follower (and let me know!) (+2)
4) Tweet about this giveaway (by clicking on the Re-tweet button above) (+4)
5) Blog about it (leave me the link) (+5)

Thanks, Lisa, for such a great read....and good luck to everyone!

Wordle: signature


ok said...

Tiffany Harkleroad
tiffanyniekro at gmail dot com
Already a follower
tweeted the giveaway, I am @Tiffanysblogs

Jessica Nelson said...

Wow, I love the title! The story def. sounds really interesting. Please enter me.
jessica_nelson7590 AT yahoo DOT com

Also....CONGRATS on finaling in the Genesis!!! Woohooo for you! ;-)

Jessica Brown said...

I'd love to have my name in for the draw. I love your writing advice, especially how you use Maslow's hierarchy of needs. I remember learning the information in Psychology and Sociology.

Jeannie Campbell, LMFT said...

thanks jessica n! i still can't believe it. :)

and jessica b...thanks for that encouragement about the blog. nice to know it's not for "nothing."

Raquel Byrnes said...

Hey Jeannie,
Mentioned you in a blog post today. You got a Pay It Forward mention and link back to your blog...didn't know about the contest, but hope it helps.

Lisa Lickel said...

I'm very glad I found Jeannie's site. She does a fantastic service to help make fiction "real" without being dull or too ordinary.

Delia Latham said...

I have Meander Scar on my Kindle, and I'm aching to reach it on "to-read-and-review" schedule. It already sounded great, and Jeannie just made it sound even better.

Julia M. Reffner said...

I'm a follower. This one sounds great.

Anonymous said...

i'm very interested in reading lisa's latest...thanks for the chance :)

email subscriber

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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Both comments and questions are welcome. I hope you enjoyed your time on the couch today.